Parks sell-off plan bound to stir ire
PICTURE this: the cute little park your house backs onto, the scene of many treasured Sunday afternoons, is being sold off to a developer or neighbour.
It would cause a major stink in congested environments of Sydney or Melbourne, and it's happening right here in Lismore.
Some 18 so-called "pocket parks" around the town are set to be rezoned by Lismore City Council for residential use, making way for an eventual sale.
Most of the parks are the leg- acy of compulsory developer contributions of years gone which required small parcels of land to be set aside, where the developer would leave the least attractive piece of land.
A council report cited the maintenance burden of the parcels of underused land, many of which are on land too muddy, steep or small for a public park.
A "divestment" of the parks would free up funds for larger, more "strategically located" parks.
Councillors at Tuesday night's meeting unanimously voted to approve the move, with a public exhibition and hearing required before any amendments to the Local Environmental Plan.
But the potential sale of the parks, mostly in Goonellabah and East Lismore, has the potential to infuriate local residents.
East Lismore resident Judy Lindsay, who has a park behind her Atlas St home, said she wasn't happy with the move.
"I bought here because of the park, and I know other people did too," Ms Lindsay said.
"I'd like to see the public consultation carried out to see other options available - community gardens, or co-operative community maintenance. I'm quite sure people here would pull together to keep that area."